I am a trailer house, a mobile home. Not a double wide, though. I don’t know what the difference between a double wide and a modular home is because my neighbor and I were not on speaking terms. But if you asked me I’d tell you they are the same thing.
A trailer house is a mobile home and a mobile home is an over sized camper.
For most of us we live on ground that is not our own. The closest thing we have to a foundation is sometimes a concrete slab and these long metal straps that are fairly deep in the ground.
We are aluminum, we gather in what people call parks. Sometimes we are owned by the land owner and our families come and go.
I was a parked home. I came in with tires beneath me, pulled by a sturdy truck and escorted by another truck, much like a drug dealer’s ship on the Gulf of Mexico.
As soon as a mobile home is parked, the wheels come off and it is leveled into place on cinder blocks and wooden ties. A skirt goes around to give us a more grounded look. Porches are added and sometimes whole rooms are tacked on.
I think we are lightening rods for tornados. Just ask around or read the news, a tornado strikes and almost always wipes out the nearest trailer park. The straps are a simple formality.
Some of us can boast of thick weather resistant walls and central air conditioning. Many have swamp coolers setting in large vented blocks on top of flat roofs.
While we may be the first thing to blow away during a storm, we are also the first things to appear in response to a disaster. We are easy to slap together, easy to move into. Hook us up to water and electricity, bottled propane and we are good to go.
My owner moved out when the land was sold from under me. It has been a time of home ownership and with loans so low and predatory lending in place, we fell out of favor. Land was developed. Re zoned and taxed at a higher rate. The new owners of my land wanted to build a small town out here, shops, homes, multi family places.
The owners searched and searched for a place to relocate me without any success. The remaining parks were full and zoning coupled with the building boom discouraged a person from setting up a new trailer park with old trailers inside.
So, my owners began packing up. They left me cleaned out, cleaned up. It was very dignified.
Then the lights went out. The water was turned off to save my pluming. No one lived here.
During the summer some kids came by and tore up my carpet and turned the appliances on their sides.
The next year someone broke my windows.
The grass grew up around me. Small animals moved in.
During the summer of the second year alone, some transient men moved in for a while. I was worried about them causing a fire. They were careful. No one noticed them. When it got too cold they moved along.
A week ago, the double wide or modular home that never spoke to me was hauled out in shabby parts. They yanked it out in halves and took it away.
This week, workmen have been cutting grass away from me, prying off my skirting, cutting long dead wires, unhooking sewage pipes and water lines.
They intend to tug me out with all the grace of a rotted tooth.
I wonder if the modular home will stoop to speaking terms when I reach the other side?